(A/N: I'll try to keep this short, this is a fic that popped into my mind. Unlike my other fics this is not a humor (though there will be some humor) and this is AU. I know this first chapter is a bit strange, but you will need the information for later on.
Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter.)
"Where's Ferret?" A hallow cheeked, sandy haired boy who was sneaking up on his thirteenth year asked his three companions in the nook under a bridge they used as their home.
"Don't know, Stalker." The youngest replied, a girl with blue grey eyes and ratty black hair, "You don't think she-"
"Hush, Pyg. Don't talk like that, you know Ferret can take car of herself." An older girl berated her, this girl sharing her younger counterpart's eyes, but her hair was straw colored instead of faded black.
"That's what you said about Couger, Lulu." A dark boy with a shadow of facial hair on his young face and a cut running along his jaw, "And you know where he is."
Lulu glared at him coolly, "I know, orphanage. But Sable, we could live without the negativity."
"I'm not being negative, I'm being realistic. Every time we think we're being cared for by the strongest, most caring, loving person that can't get caught, we see them with the orphans or Fosters in a week. There's no point in getting our hopes up just to be let down." Sable snapped back.
"There is nothing wrong with hoping for something better, a better life, food, a house." Lulu said with her eyes shining in hope as she spoke her wishes.
"Than get caught." Sable said venomously, "There you'll be safe, and dry, and fed. Perhaps Fosters will decide they like you-"
"No, I will not be taken from my sister." Lul said hugging her sister closer as she tried to ignore Sable's taunts and the rain on London's cobblestone street.
"Hate to interrupt your argument, but Ferret's back." Stalker said and they all looked up to confirm his statement. Ferret's short brown hair was matted to her head and she was stumbling under the weight of something large in her arms. The boys hurried out to relieve her of the weight and the three scurried in to hide from the rain next to the fire.
"It's a-" Sable dropped his sentence off and looked at Ferret who had given her jacket to her package. She rubbed her arms to regain warmth in vain seemingly unaware of Sable's want for her attention.
"A boy," She finally answered, "He was freezing in an Alley at the edge of town. He's cold, tiny, half starved to death…"
"And you, being so noble, couldn't just leave him there." Stalker finished.
"So, we'll do what we've always done," Ferret continued, "Obviously he's a run away. We'll offer to share our humble abode, and our companionship to him in return for help getting food. If he accepts our offer, we give him a name. If not, we help him return home or get into an orphanage. Agreed?"
"Me and Pyg are." Lulu answered immediately, followed closely by Stalkers pledge.
They waited for a minute as Sable looked at the boy, "Fine, but only because I know what will happen if I say no." The last one to refuse Ferret one of her 'children' was abandoned that night and found by the orphanage. That was the last thing that Sable wanted.
He woke up warm, incredibly sore, his head was a bit fuzzy, but he was warm. Wait, warm? He panicked sitting bolt upright pushing the coat someone had spread over him off and looked around, he could see fuzzy shapes all around him and the orange glow of a fire. A girl sat across from him, the fire reflecting off of her light colored eyes. Her voice was soft, "It's okay, little one. You're safe, no one harms any of my children."
He vaguely remembered the voice, and he found it soothing enough to lay back down. Aching exhaustion forced his eyes closed and he was asleep once more. He barely noticed a strong hand cover him with the coat once more, a feeling completely alien to him. No one had ever cared for him, tucked him in, or even referred to him as anything but a freak.
Freak. That's what his Aunt and Uncle called him, and in turn, so had his cousin. Every time something went wrong they had blamed him, the freak. Sure, the yelling had been bad, but that was nothing compared to the starvation, and every once in a while a beating. Now that he was in school his cousin even beat him up in school, and all the other kids made fun of him for his scar and his dead parents. But what could he do? He was a freak.
Several hours later he felt a gentle hand shaking his shoulders, he pulled away and was halfway to his feet in a second. The only times he was ever touched usually meant he would soon be on the receiving end of pain. The hand immediately left him followed by the girl softly saying, "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."
Sorry? Was she saying sorry to him? The freak? There was no one else she could be talking to him while her soft green eyes were staring into his. No one had ever apologized to him before, what was he supposed to do now?
"Did you run away from home?" The girl asked gently with unfeigned kindness as she handed him his glasses, taped in the middle from breaking and therefore crooked. Unable to bring himself to speak after three days of solitude he merely nodded his head.
The girl looked over at four others he hadn't noticed, which nodded, some more eagerly than others. The girl's focus went back to him, "If you want you can live with us, be friends with us and help us support each other, or we can help you home or to an orphanage. The choice is yours."
Did they just offer to help him? Home was obviously not an option, he would never go back there if he had any say in the matter. As for the orphanage, it had been a threat from his Uncle on numerous occasions, which meant he'd be better off back with them. In light of no better option, he figured that staying with these people, who seemed nice enough as far as he could tell, was better than being alone. "I-I'd like to stay with y-you." His voice said, weak from it's lack of use in the past days.
The green-eyed girl smiled, "Then I guess we should go through some introductions. I'm the leader of our pack, which is what we've called our group of orphans for years. We don't use our real names, so everyone calls me Ferret and I'm fifteen. Going against my word will have you abandoned. The pack sticks together." She finished proudly.
A girl with steely blue eyes and dirty blonde hair found her voice next, "Hi, I'm thirteen and everyone calls me Lulu, I'm a caretaker of a sort in the pack. And this," She indicated the black haired girl on her lap with matching eyes, "Is Pyg, she's my seven year old little sister."
"I'm Stalker, twelve years of age. I'm the peacemaker of the pack." A sandy haired boy said, his eyes half opened as if in a constant rest. Something about the boy struck him as comforting and vaguely familiar…
"My name's Sable," The dark boy cut in, everything about him was dark, his black hair, facial hair, tanned skin, and obsidian eyes, "I'm a month away from seventeen and I'm the fighter of the pack." I wouldn't put it past him the boy thought looking at the size of the boy who was clearly jealous of Ferret's leadership.
"Umm… my name is-" He began, rather unsure of himself.
"Don't tell us your real name, we'll come up with one for you soon enough. Just tell us the basics, your age and why you decided to run away." Lulu interrupted.
"Well, I'm eight years old. My parents died when I was only one year old in a car crash, that's where I got this scar," He pulled hair from his forehead to reveal his scar, "Ever since I've lived with my Aunt and Uncle. I ran away because I'm tired of being called a freak, among other things."
"Other things?" Stalker asked raising an eyebrow questioningly, "What exactly constitutes as 'other things'?"
The boy flinched at the tone, but replied softly anyway, "Yell, lock me in a cupboard, hit me every now and then."
"No wonder you flinched…" Ferret said quietly, "I have to admit, that's a strange scar you have there."
"Trust me, I know." The boy replied.
(A/N: Okay chapter one is done. I already have most of the story planned out, tell me what you think. Please review!)